- More than two dozen top officials associated with President Donald Trump have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
- The disease has spread through the president’s orbit, infecting White House staffers, campaign aides, and Republican leaders, including Trump himself.
- Trump has downplayed the virus that has killed over 283,000 Americans and repeatedly flouted safety recommendations like wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.
- Here’s a chart that shows how the contagion has spread through the White House’s top ranks.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As the nation’s coronavirus case count climbs, the White House continues to grapple with its own string of outbreaks.
More than two dozen high-profile officials associated with President Donald Trump have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Trump and his allies have regularly dismissed Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, downplayed the severity of the virus, and disputed the immense criticism they have received over the past several months. The disease has spread through the president’s orbit, infecting White House staffers, campaign aides, and Republican leaders â€” including Trump himself.
The virus has most recently penetrated Trump’s legal team, which has been waging a battle to overturn the election results. Trump announced via tweet on Sunday that Rudy Giuliani, his personal attorney, contracted the virus. On Tuesday, Axios reported that Trump’s legal adviser Jenna Ellis has COVID-19 as well.
At least eight of the confirmed cases have been linked to a White House ceremony on September 26, when over 150 people â€” closely seated and many maskless â€” gathered in the Rose Garden for then-Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination. Public health officials, including the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, later dubbed the event a superspreader.
This chart shows all the people with confirmed cases and their relationships to the president.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican ally to Trump who attended the announcement and afterward battled the disease for a week in the intensive-care unit, expressed regret over his choice to ignore public-health guidelines. “I was wrong,” he said.
Trump also tested positive for the coronavirus after the gathering and was hospitalized for three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, where he was treated with experimental drugs. After his release and recovery, he continued to undermine the virus’ threat.
Another explosion of cases has been connected to an election-night party hosted at the White House. Several in attendance, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Republican National Committee staffers, and campaign advisors, later tested positive.
Editor’s note: This article was first posted on Nov. 16, 2020 and has been updated to reflect new coronavirus cases.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.